For Immediate Release: Wed, March 20th, 2019
Contact: Joshua Henne – 732-407-5938
(Trenton, NJ) – The Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO has ratified its Executive Branch contract with the State of New Jersey. The Tentative Agreement was completed on March 4, 2019, and Union members completed ratification of the Contract on March 20, 2019. The contract was ratified 96% yes, 4% no. The CWA State Worker Contract is the largest collective bargaining agreement in the State of New Jersey in both the public and private sector.
The Term of the Agreement is from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2023. The Agreement includes across the board increases of 2% each year, all Step increments, bonuses paid to those not receiving increments, and a new health plan that changes the way employees pay premium share from the “Chapter 78 schedule” passed by the Legislature in 2011, to a percentage of pay, lowering employee health benefit premium share for the first time in 8 years, and providing significant savings to the State of New Jersey at the same time. The contract also includes changes that streamline, protect and articulate due process rights, job security, and other language matters determining terms and conditions of employment.
The Union side of the Bargaining Committee was: John Rose, President Local 1031, Patrick Kavanagh, President Local 1032, Gaye Palmer, President Local 1033, Adam Liebtag, President Local 1036, Ken McNamara, President Local 1037, Shawn Ludwig, President Local 1038, Carolyn Wade, President Local 1040, Dennis Trainor, Vice President District 1, Hetty Rosenstein, New Jersey Director, Steven P. Weissman, Attorney, Weissman & Mintz.
“We are proud to announce that our contract was overwhelmingly ratified,” said CWA NJ Director Hetty Rosenstein. “It is a fair agreement. Once again, we’ve proven that Collective Bargaining and Workers Rights are at the core of American Democracy. When the parties negotiate in good faith the results are always better, more long lasting, and of greater value than when they are not bargained. I want to thank our incredibly dedicated Local Presidents and Dennis Trainor, the Vice President of District 1 – the greatest District in the greatest Union. I also wish to thank our brilliant attorney, Steve Weissman, for his extraordinary work. And I must acknowledge the good faith and hard work of the Management Team representing Governor Phil Murphy, including the Staff of the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations and James McGovern and Jennifer Roselli from the law firm of Genova Burns. This Contract could not have been successfully negotiated without the deep commitment and the long hours of everyone involved.“
A recent labor agreement created new medical plans for State employees represented by the CWA. Two new Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plans will be introduced: CWA Unity DIRECT (administered by Horizon) and CWA Unity Freedom (administered by Aetna). Along with the new PPOs, the current Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Tiered Network Plans, and High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) will be offered.
The SHBP will hold a special Open Enrollment for employees covered under the new CWA agreement from April 22, 2019, to May 3, 2019. Current CWA subscribers will be automatically transferred or remain in the same plan unless a CWA Open Enrollment Application is submitted with another plan selected.
For more information please visit NJ Division of Pensions & Benefits.
Get on the call 4/10/19 at 7:00 PM to hear our plan to stop Sweeney’s “Path to Progress” and pass a fair state budget
We are saddened to announce the passing of our brother and Local Treasurer, Dennis W. Reiter. Dennis passed away on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at 77 years of age.
Dennis served as a loyal member, Shop Steward and Officer of Local 1033 for over 32 years. He was a retiree from the NJ Department of Education. He enjoyed collecting coins, the orchestra, animals, the Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies and spending time with his family and friends. He will be missed by many who had the pleasure of knowing his kindness and loyalty.
Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, April 13, 2019, 10:30 AM at the Corpus Christi R.C. Church, 11 South Sunset Road, Willingboro, NJ. Relatives and friends may call Saturday morning 9:30 – 10:30 AM at the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Dennis’ name can be made to the Burlington County Animal Shelter, 35 Academy Drive, Westampton, NJ, 08060.
To leave a condolence, share a memory, post a photo and more, please visit the funeral home website at www.goesscolierifuneralhome.com
CWA Statement On Ratifying Executive Branch Contract With State of New Jersey – Insider NJ
— Read on www.insidernj.com/press-release/cwa-statement-ratifying-executive-branch-contract-state-new-jersey/
N.J.’s biggest state workers union members agree to new contract with annual raises, health care changes – nj.com
— Read on www.nj.com/politics/2019/03/njs-biggest-state-workers-union-agrees-to-new-contract-with-annual-raises-health-care-changes.html
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1. Does my choice of in-network providers change from NJ Direct 15 to CWA PPO or from Aetna Freedom 15 to CWA PPO?
NO. NOT AT ALL. If your providers are in-network now, they will remain in-network. NJ Direct 15 uses the Horizon Managed Care Network which has 45,300 providers of whom 31,200 are primary care and specialist physicians. That network also includes nearly every NJ hospital. CWA PPO will use the SAME network.
The Aetna network for Freedom 15 will also remain the SAME for the Aetna version of CWA PPO.
2. Is there any change in benefits covered by CWA PPO compared to NJ Direct 15/Freedom 15?
NO change at all in covered benefits. Everything covered now will continue to be covered after the July 1st switch to CWA PPO.
3. Will Horizon and Aetna still be providing coverage through the CWA PPO?
YES. Our insurance carriers, Horizon and Aetna have not changed.
4. I’m in a course of treatment provided by in-network providers that will last past July 1. How will the switch to CWA PPO impact me?
Your coverage will remain THE SAME. We recommend that you double check that your providers are in-network.
5. If I travel or live out-of-state will I be able to find and use in-network providers with CWA PPO?
YES. For Horizon you will still be able to see providers across the country who are in-network for the local Blue Cross/Blue Shield affiliate (such as Independence Blue Cross or Empire Blue Cross) through the Blue Card program (that’s signified by the little suitcase on your Horizon card.) For Aetna, you will continue to be able to access their national network. CWA PPO is National No Referral.
6. These were negotiations, what did the state get?
A change in out-of-network payments to providers that will provide very significant savings to the state. Many out-of-network providers will receive lower payments while some such as out-of-network mental health providers will receive more. It will be more important to choose in-network providers for expensive services. There are also a few increased copays such as those for emergency room visits and prescription drugs through the savings from lower paycheck health contributions will greatly exceed any new costs.
7. I’m currently in an HMO plan; how will this tentative agreement impact my coverage?
You can remain in your current HMO without any change; however, your health contribution (payroll deduction) will continue to be determined by the current (Chapter 78) rate chart so you will likely pay more if you continue in the HMO. We recommend that you check this carefully during the April open enrollment.
8. Since we are staritng the CWA PPO plan year in July, will deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums reset as of that date? We started NJDirect15 in January and have already paid $200 towards a deductible or OOP max requirement. Do we lose that and start over with new deductibles and OOP max under CWA PPO? This would mean I am paying more than the required amount within a 12-month period.
NO. Deductibles, out-of-pocket max, etc. that have already been spent under NJD15 or Freedom will carry forward to the CWA PPO for the remainder of 2019 Plan Year.
9. Since we are starting CWA PPO in July, will there be a regular open enrollment in October, or will the next one be in July 2020? Are we doing a 6-month plan year for the remainder of 2019 and then start fresh in 2020 on the normal timetable?
We are doing 6 months for the remainder of 2019 and then we go back to the normal January 1 Plan Year.
10. For open enrollment in April 2019 – will a member automatically migrate from NJD15 to CWA PPO Horizon, and from Aetna PPO to CWA PPO Aetna? Or will they have to do an application to go from PPO to PPO?
Migration will be automatic from NJ Direct PPO plans/ Aetna Freedom PPO to CWA PPO based on your selected network, Horizon or Aetna. If you have Aetna Freedom you will convert to the CWA PPO in the Aetna network. Members would only have to affirmatively do an application if they are changing plans, such as going from HMO to CWA PPO or NJDirect to Tiered Network.
11. If I had pre-approval for the plan year for a healthcare service (bi-weekly injectibles, for example) will I need pre-approval again for the new plan or does my pre-approval carry through to the end of the December 2019 plan year?
Your pre-approval carries through the end of the December 2019 plan year. You would not need another pre-approval.
12. I attained 20 years of pension service credit by June 2011 (or 25 years prior to then) and am entitled to pay 1.5% (or 0%) of my pension income as a health contribution. Will CWA PPO change this? Does the CWA agreement disturb this with our new contribution grid?
NO. The amount you pay as a health contribution as a retiree is determined by the date you attained 20 or 25 years of pension service credit NOT by your retirement date. The CWA contribution grid will not disturb your 0% retiree rate. Congratulations on your retirement and you will still have no contribution. If you are locked in the 1.5% retiree contribution rate, the CWA contribution grid will NOT disturb your 1.5% of pension retiree rate.
Click here for schedule: ratification-worksites-by-department-march-2019.xlsx
New Date! Membership meeting 3/7 at 4:30pm-6:15 @ Trenton War Memorial. Please join us for an overview of the Tentative Agreement.